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March 9, 2018

Justin Rose

Palm Harbor, Florida

Q. Justin yesterday you told us that you drove it poorly and hit your irons even worse. Surely better today.
JUSTIN ROSE: It was better today. That was sort of the round I was looking for, really. I feel like I got some good feels on the range and I got into a better place mentally today, too. I decided, okay, I'm going to make a good swing. I see a good shot, be more committed to give the swing a chance.

Really kind of started to focus on my routine a bit more. The swing started to cleanup, hit a few more quality iron shots. Iron player was big today.

Q. How important is the right attitude, just the fact you played poorly but this golf course and the challenges it presents?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think this week I've been willing to grind and stay patient. It was an interesting leaderboard because 4-under par is right in the tournament in second place. I knew I wasn't far away from it even though even par, I knew I was in the tournament. So I was able to stay patient.

I had a nice little run there around the turn and that got things going for the position I'm in going into the weekend.

Q. How much more comfortable are you on these greens than the West Coast?
JUSTIN ROSE: I didn't play a lot of West Coast. Mexico is West Coast. These greens are really rolling fantastic. I like the flow of the stroke. Really, really good read. Right all the way until about the last three feet and started to go back to the right.

Q. 18, nice par. How important are these sort of scrambles?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think that my second shot was the most underrated shot there to get it up the right side in a position I knew I could up and down the ball, it was a good play. That was a key momentum, key for just kind -- I feel like I've done a lot of hard work on the back-9. Nice to finish the round.

Q. Justin, a little progress from yesterday to today. 3-under par heading into the weekend.
JUSTIN ROSE: I love the position I'm in going into the weekend. Obviously, one, with my score and, two, moreso where my game is going. It's been a bit of a struggle this week.

I began to see a bit more signs of some good golf. I've come off a little bit of a layoff, a month off. The game wasn't quite exactly where I wanted it. I think some ways it's a good thing, something to build and work towards now in the next few weeks and obviously this weekend I'm in exactly the position I need to be.

Q. Some of the venues that you've won on in the PGA TOUR, if you're on your game is this a venue you should have a chance to win at?
JUSTIN ROSE: This is right in my wheelhouse. I'm really enjoying this test of golf. Even when I was even par for my round, even par for the tournament I knew I was still in the golf tournament. I could see second place is 4-under. Lot of guys, 4, 3, 2.

You always look at the leader and maybe take him out of the equation because you never know what kind of weekend they're going to have. I knew the pack was at 4-under par. It enabled me to stay patient, and I like that type of golf.

Q. How different was it from Thursday morning to this afternoon, how different was the golf course playing?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah. It was gorgeous out there today. I've been struggling with my allergies this week. Today was a little bit less wind, less pollen blowing in your face and few sneezes and runny noses.

When the temperature picks up you feel like the ball goes an extra five yards or so. I think your body looks at it like that.

Yeah, the ball was -- I just felt it was more quality in the strike today, much easier to hit your number.

Q. Thanks for your time. You're not the only one dealing with allergies. Good luck this weekend.
JUSTIN ROSE: Thank you.

Q. How was it out there compared with yesterday?

Q. Warmer?
JUSTIN ROSE: That's my best stuff.

Q. I can spell that.
JUSTIN ROSE: It was a much more pleasant day today, more temperature-rise. Still tricky with the breeze at times but looked like yesterday afternoon I was watching the golf and didn't look like it blew as hard as the morning but guys were still having trouble with it.

Picking clubs is still a challenge. I think what makes picking clubs difficult here if you miss in the wrong spot it's impossible to get the ball up and down.

You're trying to choose the appropriate club and guarding against that. Strategy is really, really important on this golf course and I love the way it's playing, to be honest with you. The leaderboard, there's a good score out there if you play really well. It allows you to be patient.

Q. Can you take more from a week like this because the golf course is so difficult as opposed to maybe a week 20-under wins?
JUSTIN ROSE: Offers you a lot of feedback. You can't fake it around this golf course. You're going to get found out if you do.

For me, this week has also enabled me to not play my best but get into grind mode and sort of work on plotting my way around the golf course and not be all out attack, where some weeks you have to be.

It's offered me that. I haven't played well. I was much better today. I haven't played well. I think strategy kind of kept me in it.

Q. Pollen still causing you havoc?
JUSTIN ROSE: Better today. I think little less breezy, little less sneezing and running nose today. Yeah, still everyone is struggling with it.

Q. You played down in the Bahamas, of course, to see your fellow stable. Surprised?

Q. TW.
JUSTIN ROSE: Oh, him. I thought Adam, 2-under. I didn't know if he made a birdie.

I think someone told me he's like 9-under at the Tour event. He's obviously leading at some point today. Pretty cool. What was he, I don't -- he looks great out there. I think that the energy which he's playing golf, that to me is the most impressive thing and exciting thing. He looks like he's enjoying himself and looks free. That's pretty cool.

Q. What's your thoughts on the Match Play format?
JUSTIN ROSE: I'm not playing it so maybe that says what I think about it.

Q. Is it a format or course thing?
JUSTIN ROSE: A format and -- format thing. It's so close to the Masters. Doesn't offer you the truest feedback on your game and doesn't offer you the opportunity to really find out where your game is at heading into a Major.

You can win games scrambling and lose games playing great. The fact you get three days makes it more valuable from a feedback point of view. To play three days and feel like you lost --

Q. Have you hit one of those Friday matches that meant nothing? Have you ever had one of those?
JUSTIN ROSE: I'm not sure. I didn't play last year. I kind of forget the year before. Definitely had a Friday that I felt like I come away with nothing, yeah.

Q. It almost seems like compared with five years ago there's so many players of attractions, stars, whatever you want to call it -- you can't lose everybody and say, my God, there is no one left anymore.
JUSTIN ROSE: That's the nature of Match Play. If you won a Match Play tournament you got to accept the consequences of what that tournament is about. It's about 18 holes and the best guy in the day wins.

Try to come up with more contrived versions to keep the stars around for three days is, in my opinion, not true Match Play. 64 knock out, go for it.

That way if you play, you lose 1st Round, you don't feel like you've lost a whole week. You can still have five days to rework your game. I feel like playing through till Friday and coming away with the 1st Round losing points is a long week.

Q. You feel on Wednesday and Friday --
JUSTIN ROSE: If you go through the final and you win it and beat a bunch of guys you can get a ton of confidence from it. But for me, like I said, I want to play Houston and Bay Hill, and here. Something had to give. For me it was just that.

Q. Not much input you have but when we get The Players back into March next year, is there room for two WGCs crammed in there after West Coast before the Masters?
JUSTIN ROSE: I probably will play it next year based on the schedule change. I'm a big fan of The Players going back to March, too, the way that golf course plays.

Q. What is it going to be?
JUSTIN ROSE: I'm assuming it's going to be two weeks before the Masters again but probably won't play San Antonio. Get myself in trouble.

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